Boko Haram Took More Than 100 Girls: 'We Are in Deep Pain'

Locals in Dapchi, Nigeria, are growing angry at government for murky details on recent abductions
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2018 8:43 AM CST
Boko Haram Took More Than 100 Girls: 'We Are in Deep Pain'
In this image, Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's minister of information, speaks to the media in Dapchi, Nigeria, on Thursday.   (AP Photo)

Emotion is turning from shock and anguish to frustration and anger in the Nigerian town of Dapchi, where Boko Haram arrived last week and abducted more than 100 schoolgirls, an attack reminiscent of the mass kidnapping in 2014 of 276 girls from Chibok. "We are in great pain," the father of one of the newly missing girls tells the Wall Street Journal, which reports on residents' growing acrimony toward both the local and national Nigerian governments for murky details and even the possibility of a cover-up, perhaps even by President Muhammadu Buhari. Although Buhari called the abduction a "national disaster" in a Friday tweet and vowed to get the girls back, locals don't have much faith in his word or efforts. "The government is still lying to us," says a Dapchi mother whose two daughters were taken last week. "We don't want a repeat of the Chibok girls to happen to our daughters."

Per the New York Times, the government has gone on the defensive, saying the former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, stalled for nearly two weeks after the Chibok girls were abducted, and that government forces set right to work this time to search for the Dapchi girls. But officials are also dancing around using the word "kidnapped" (the girls are officially labeled as "missing"), and Dapchi residents are infuriated after an erroneous announcement made Wednesday by the governor of Yobe state that the girls had been rescued. Quartz notes the same mistakes are being made this time around by the administration, and that "Nigeria hasn't learned its lesson." "What people are most angry with is how the government has handled the situation," the director of a local aid group tells the Times. (More Boko Haram stories.)

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